The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has canceled contempt of Congress proceedings against Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray following the FBI’s release of an unclassified document to the entire committee.
In addition to the requested access for the entire committee, the FBI is making two additional documents referenced in the FD-1023 available for House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
The change came hours after Comer announced on June 7 that he released a resolution to hold Wray in contempt due to a refusal to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena to view a document believed to pertain to claims that a foreign national bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden.
“We have been clear that the FBI must produce the unclassified FD-1023 record to the custody of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability,” Comer said, according to the House Oversight Committee’s June 7 press release.
Change in Course
The full committee was set to mark up the resolution during a business meeting on June 8, but Comer’s office announced that the FBI complied with their request late on June 7.
“After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved and is now allowing all members of the Oversight and Accountability Committee to review this unclassified record that memorializes a confidential human source’s conversations with a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden,” Comer said when announcing the FBI’s compliance later the same day.
In the explanation of their resolution to hold Wray in contempt, the Republican lawmaker asserted that the FBI’s refusal to cooperate with his committee hindered their ability to investigate accusations of misconduct on the part of Biden.
The report emphasizes the importance of Congress’ responsibility to perform rigorous oversight of the Executive Branch, citing the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution.
It highlights the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s jurisdiction over federal government management and reform, and its authority to conduct investigations of any matter without limitations.
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially, and demand answers, transparency, and accountability,” Comer said when announcing that the FBI had “caved” to his committee’s demands. “Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people.
“Let’s be clear: The allegations contained within this record are not closed as the White House and Democrats would have the American people believe. Former Attorney General [Bill] Barr confirmed this information was sent to the U.S. Attorney in Delaware for further investigation, and the FBI has confirmed it is being used in an ongoing investigation. We also know the confidential human source who provided this information is highly credible and trusted, has worked with the FBI for over a decade, and has been paid six figures.
“The allegations contained within this record track closely with the Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Biden family’s influence-peddling schemes. The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the facts and ensure accountability for the American people.”
White House and Democrat Response
Following Comer’s resolution to hold Wray in contempt, Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, castigated the House Republican in a press release sent to The Epoch Times.
“Instead of spending their time and energy working on the issues that matter most to the American people, like lowering costs, creating jobs, or strengthening health care, congressional Republicans, led by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and his committee, have spent six months wasting taxpayer resources to stage politically-motivated stunts disguised as ‘investigations,’” Sams said.
“In just a few short months, Comer and his MAGA Republican colleagues in Congress have torpedoed their credibility by repeatedly failing to deliver on much-hyped allegations. Their fact-free wild goose chase continues to be a waste of taxpayer resources when House Republicans should instead be focusing on real issues American families care about.”
Raskin also called out his Republican counterparts after the committee undertook the contempt proceedings.
He furthered the claim that the whistleblower’s allegations were unreliable: “In the spirit of good faith, the FBI has offered Chairman Comer yet further accommodations in response to his subpoena, including to allow all Oversight Committee members to review in camera the secondhand allegations by Ukrainian individuals reported in the tip sheet.”
Raskin went on to say that the FBI was accommodating Comer after the lawmaker spent “weeks attacking the FBI despite its extraordinary efforts to provide Committee Republicans [with] the information they claim to seek,” and that the contempt proceedings were a ploy to support Republican presidential candidates.
“Holding someone in contempt of Congress is among the most serious actions our committee can take, and it should not be weaponized to undermine the FBI,” Raskin said. “As Republicans’ investigation into President Biden has uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing, they continue to attempt to discredit and dismantle the FBI to help prop up Donald Trump’s poll numbers.”
When questioned whether it was Comer’s opinion that the full committee’s viewing of the document constituted full compliance by the FBI with the subpoena, a spokesperson for Comer’s office referred The Epoch Times to the chairman’s previous comments.
From The Epoch Times